This platform helped drive 3.2 million downloads of Burger King’s app.

With the pandemic accelerating mobile ordering at a rapid rate, quick-serve brands are learning how important it is to be able to digitally communicate with their customers in an effective manner. Put another way, brands that were once accustomed to providing an exemplary in-person customer experience are grappling with how to do that in a meaningful way with a customer that rarely, if ever, enters their stores.

“It’s time for quick-service brands to stop waiting for customers to come to them,” says Laura Naparstek, product marketing manager at Braze. “They have to enter customer’s lives, and engage them, because their stores are closed and people are adapting to new ways of getting food. There’s an opportunity here for operators to own the customer relationship in a way they haven’t before.”

A pioneer in the field, Braze was founded in 2011 to address the needs of marketers, across different industries, communicating with customers across different channels including  mobile, web and email. It was Braze that was behind the memorable “Whopper Detour” campaign, launched in December 2018, which helped convert over 14,000 McDonald’s locations into promotional venues for its biggest competitor. The campaign made headlines, but more importantly, it was incredibly effective, leading to 3.2 million downloads of the Burger King app, and a 37-to-1 return on investment.

More recently, Braze helped 100-unit fast casual brand Sweetgreen execute a promo code SMS campaign that accomplished the goal of converting 10 percent of customers from ordering third-party delivery, to ordering delivery directly through the Sweetgreen app. How was this accomplished? Braze handled the complex part: generating random redemption codes and tracking them to ensure that codes would only be used once. This particular campaign also helped Sweetgreen add 10,000 new SMS subscribers to its database.

Braze also helps quick-serve brands by leveraging cross-channel marketing tactics that keep messaging fresh and up-to-date. Here’s how that might work in real life: say a pizza brand is looking to run a promotion once per week with a $5 off coupon. Without Braze, they might fire off an email at a designated time when they think the redemption rate will be high. What Braze will do is ensure that every member of the pizza restaurant’s online database will get the coupon at a time that is optimized for their schedule, via their preferred delivery method, be it email, SMS, or a push notification. For example, for a parent that is commuting home around 5:30 p.m., Braze will help push a text to the customer’s phone before they get in the car, whereas a college student that gets off class at 8 p.m. might get a push notification while they are walking out of the classroom, thinking about dinner.

“People form habits, and they want restaurants to match that cadence,” Naperstek says. “I want there to be a predictable rhythm when I get notifications, and I want them to match my pattern. If I’m loyal to your brand, I want to see a reciprocity, and a respect for my time.” 

Why is timing so important? Imagine how it could go wrong—let’s say the customer is walking out of the pizza place, pie in hand, when the discount code arrives on their phone. Suddenly, the relationship between that customer and the brand has soured, which is something restaurant brands simply can’t afford right now. With customers showing a dedication to off-premises channels, it’s important for brands to show that same dedication if they hope to grow into the future.

“So many quick-serve marketing teams are doing an incredible job with what they have,” Naparstek says. “We’re asking for an opportunity to help simplify the complex, and work with you to make your job easier and your success rate that much higher.” 

To learn more about how Braze can help your brand create effective messaging campaigns, visit its website.

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